China’s largest carrier rocket Long March-5 makes new flight; BDS-3 satellite system (GPS) to complete before June 2020, Space Station operational in 2022

VideoFromSpace 838K subscribers A Chinese Long March 5 Y3 rocket launched from Wenchang Satellite Launch Cente in south China on Dec. 27, 2019. It was carrying the Shijian-20 communications satellite. –Full Story:… Credit: China Central Television – CCTV

The Long March 5 is an essential booster for China’s space ambitions. The heavy-lift booster will be the one to launch China’s space station modules as well as a  Mars lander in 2020 and the Chang’e 5 moon sample-return mission.

China is also expected to use a version of the Long March 5, called the Long March 5B, to launch  a new crewed spacecraf — the successor to its current Shenzhou crew capsule.

The rocket stands 184 feet (56 meters) tall and weighs nearly 2 million lbs. (867,000 kilograms) at liftoff. It is capable of carrying payloads of up to 55,000 lbs. (25,000 kilograms) into low Earth orbit. It can haul up 31,000 lbs. (14,000 kg) to a higher geostationary transfer orbit.

China launches its largest carrier rocket Long March-5 Y3

The Long March-5 rocket, China’s largest carrier rocket, was successfully launched from Wenchang Space Launch Center in south China’s Hainan Province on Friday night.

The rocket lifted off at 8:45 p.m. Beijing time, carrying the Shijian-20 technological experiment satellite weighing over eight tonnes, the heaviest and most advanced communications satellite in the country.

About 2,220 seconds later, the satellite was sent into its planned orbit and the launch mission was declared a success.

Long March-5 Y3 launches Shijian-20

China’s largest carrier rocket Long March-5 makes new flight

China launched the third Long March-5, the largest carrier rocket of the country, from Wenchang Space Launch Center in south China’s Hainan Province on Friday evening.The rocket, coded as Long March-5 Y3, blasted off from the coastal launch center at 8:45 p.m. (Beijing time), carrying the Shijian-20 technological experiment satellite weighing over eight tonnes, the heaviest and most advanced communications satellite of the country.About 2,220 seconds later, the satellite was sent into its planned orbit.

Wu Yanhua, deputy director of the China National Space Administration (CNSA), declared the launch a success.

The success of the flight lays the foundation for a series of future space projects for the country including exploring Mars, returning moon samples and constructing its own space station, Wu said.

The Shijian-20 satellite will be used to test the key technologies of the DFH-5 platform, China’s new-generation large satellite platform, and offer communication and broadcasting service, Wu said.

The Long March-5 is a large, two-stage rocket, capable of carrying a payload of 25 tonnes, equivalent to the weight of 16 cars, to low Earth orbit, 14 tonnes to geostationary transfer orbit, eight tonnes to Earth-Moon transfer orbit, or five tonnes to Earth-Mars transfer orbit, over twice the capacity of the current main Long March series rockets. Combined with an upper stage, the rocket is capable of sending probes to explore Jupiter and other planets in the solar system, according to the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC).

The Long March-5 made its maiden flight on Nov. 3, 2016 from Wenchang. However, the second large rocket, Long March-5 Y2, suffered a failure, as a malfunction happened less than six minutes after its liftoff on July 2, 2017.

The research team has found that the failure was caused by a problem in the engine of the first core stage of the rocket. “We have made improvements to the design, materials and technologies of the engine,” said Li Dong, chief designer of the Long March-5 rocket from the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT) under the CASC.

Compared with the Long March-5 Y2, the new rocket has more than 200 technological improvements, said Yang Hujun, deputy chief designer of the rocket.

The modified engine has undergone more than 10 ground tests lasting over 3,000 seconds in total.

“Over the past two years, the research team has solved the problem of the engine and improved the reliability of the rocket,” said Wang Jue, chief commander of the research team.

The carrying capacity of the Long March-5 rocket equals that of other mainstream large-scale rockets in the global industry, greatly improving China’s ability to launch spacecraft and laying the foundation for developing new-generation carrier rockets and heavy-lift launch vehicles, said Wang Xiaojun, head of the CALT.

The rocket is about 57 meters long, equivalent to the height of a 20-story building, with a 5-meter diameter core stage and four 3.35-meter diameter boosters. The Long March-5 is much larger than China’s previous carrier rockets. It has a takeoff weight of about 870 tonnes and a thrust of over 1,000 tonnes.

The four boosters, developed by the Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology under the CASC, shoulder over 90 percent of the takeoff thrust.

The rocket uses environmentally friendly fuel, including kerosene, liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen, rather than highly toxic propellants.

It is equipped with eight liquid oxygen/kerosene rocket engines in four strap-on boosters, two liquid hydrogen/liquid oxygen engines in the first stage and two relatively small liquid hydrogen/liquid oxygen engines in the second stage.

The weight of the rocket itself only accounts for about 10 percent of the liftoff weight, and the other 90 percent is the weight of the propellants.

The research team has made efforts to decrease the weight of the rocket in its design. For instance, the thickness of the rocket shell in some parts is only a few millimeters, according to Li Linsheng, a structural strength analysis designer of the rocket.

The temperature of liquid hydrogen is minus 253 degrees centigrade, and the temperature of liquid oxygen is minus 173 degrees centigrade. The maximum temperature of the fuel during combustion in the rocket engine is more than 3,300 degrees centigrade.

China built the Wenchang Space Launch Center, the country’s fourth space launch center, for the Long March-5 and other new-generation carrier rockets. The center is located on the coast of the tropical island province of Hainan, which avoids possible damage caused by the falling rocket remnants.

In the center is the country’s largest and most advanced launch pad that is 70 meters tall, equivalent to the height of a 24-story building, and covers an area of 600 square meters, the same size as half a basketball court.

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BeiDou Navigation Satellite System serves the world

In this episode of “Come Together,” CGTN looks at the self-developed BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) that went global in 2018 and represents another scientific breakthrough for China as the country celebrates the 70th anniversary of its founding.

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China’s homegrown BeiDou Navigation Satellite System is going global

BeiDou, China’s homegrown navigation satellite system, is to cover the world by 2020. Watch a video to see how it differs from GPS and can help you in life. – China Daily

How Smart is China’s answer to GPS?

China recently launched another part of the Beidou Satellite System and we wanted to take a look at some of the ways China will use this system. We look at some of the important aspects of this project and how it will benefit Chinese people and everyone around the globe.

China will finish the construction of the BeiDou-3 Navigation Satellite System (BDS-3), with another two geostationary orbit satellites to be launched before June 2020, said BDS Spokesperson Ran Chengqi on Friday.

Friday marks the one-year anniversary of China’s BDS-3 system providing global service.

Ran said at a press conference of the State Council Information Office that with the BDS as the core, a more ubiquitous, integrated and intelligent navigation and timing system with comprehensive national positioning is scheduled to be established by 2035.

China sent 10 BDS satellites into space in 2019. The deployment of the core BDS-3 constellation system has been completed with all of the BDS-3 system’s medium earth orbit satellites being networked.

With the system’s upgraded intelligent operation and maintenance capabilities, the BDS-3 has provided stable and accurate services, boasting a positioning accuracy of better than five meters.

The BDS system has multiple service capabilities, including satellite-based augmentation, short message communication, ground augmentation as well as international search and rescue. It will provide more diversified services with better performance and higher accuracy in 2020, Ran said.

A series of documents on the BDS system were also released to promote the understanding of the system and facilitate its use. The documents were published on the official website of the Beidou Navigation Satellite System.

The BDS system has seen thriving applications in many areas and has fostered an industrial ecosystem, Ran said.

The 22nm process navigation and positioning chip supporting BDS-3’s new signal has a smaller volume, lower power consumption and higher accuracy, and has realized large-scale application.

The new generation of BDS system-related products including high-precision antennas, boards, and broadband radio frequency chips has been developed.

The BDS system has also seen increasing applications in emerging fields such as the industrial Internet and Internet of Things, as well as autonomous driving, parking and logistics.

With the arrival of the 5G commercial era, BDS is accelerating the integration with new technologies such as the next generation of mobile communication, blockchain and artificial intelligence, Ran said.

The BDS system is playing an important role in many industries including transportation, agriculture, forestry and energy. It supports China’s dynamic monitoring system for more than 6.5 million vehicles. It will further facilitate railway transportation, inland river shipping, ocean navigation and the management of transportation infrastructure construction, Ran said.

Ran said China is continuously promoting the development of a legal system for satellite navigation.

China’s applications for satellite navigation patents have increased rapidly, and the number has reached 70,000, ranking the first in the world.

More BDS-related national standards and special standards will be released to ensure a sound environment for its industrial application, Ran added. – Xinhua

Why China can build its own space station?

China Aerospace started from scratch, and by 2019, the country is ushering in a phase of superspace programs: the Chang’e-4 lunar probe was successfully launched, the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System began providing global services and the Long March rockets have been launched over 300 times. The emergence of each set of data proves that China,
once trailing behind in the global space programs, has now earned its place in the global space-program competition, and is tapping into a new field. Check out this video and have a look at why China can build its
own space station.

See China’s Tiangong-2 Space Station Re-Enter Earth’s Atmosphere

China’s Tiangong-2 Space Station re-entered Earth’s atmosphere and burned up over the Pacific Ocean on July 19, 2019. A camera aboard Tiangong-2 captured imagery

Lift-off soon for China’s space station mission

China has announced the imminent launch of a mission that will start the process of building a space station by 2022. Making the announcement on February 4, 2019, Chinese space programme officials said astronauts are currently being recruited and trained, with drills and joint tests scheduled for the latter half of 2019. The space station will consist of three modules – a core cabin and two lab modules – and will be able to accommodate three astronauts working simultaneously.China is a relative latecomer to such space programmes since it was not a partner in the International Space Station (ISS), the habitable artificial satellite which was launched into orbit in 1998 and supporting its first long-term residents by November 2000.

China has been opening up to international cooperation, however, agreeing with the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs to develop opportunities for scientists from around the world to carry out research on board the Chinese space station after it is operational in 2022.

China’s space station: What you need to know

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